The following questions address some of the most important guidelines for including a service-learning experience in a course. We encourage you to consider all of these guidelines when planning your service-learning course.
- What service will students provide to individuals, organizations, schools, or other entities in the community?
- How does the service relate to the subject matter of the course?
- What methods will you use to encourage students to think about what they are learning through the service and how it relates to the subject matter of the course?
- What reflective strategies will you use to assess the learning derived from the service? (Explain how credit will be given for the learning and its relation to the course, not for the service alone.)
- How will the service recipients (clients or agency) be involved in the planning and evaluation of the service?
- What methods or resources (web links, articles, guest speakers, etc.) will you use to illustrate how the causes of (or solutions to) the community issue(s) relate to the discipline and course content?
- How does the service-learning experience, which may also be associated with career preparation, foster civic responsibility?
- What methods will you use to help students learn from each other (e.g., through reflection sessions) as well as from the instructor?
- How will course options ensure that no student is required to participate in a service placement that creates a religious, political, and/or moral conflict for the student?
- What plans do you have for continuing/sustaining the project within the community after the semester ends OR how have you and the community partner communicated clearly that this is a time-limited project?
- How will you identify and manage the risks, legal issues, and liability concerns related to your specific service-learning project?
- How will you match or connect students with specific service-learning opportunities?
Guidelines recommended by the College of Family and Consumer Sciences service-learning task force, adapted from "Nine Criteria for Designation of Service-Learning Classes," Boise State University, and "Criteria for designation of service-learning classes," University of Utah.
Boise State University Service-Learning Office (2006). Planning for a service-learning class . Retrieved December 19, 2006, from http://www2.boisestate.edu/servicelearning/slworkshop/facultyinfo/worksheet_planning.pdf
Lowell Bennion Community Service Center (2006). Criteria for designation of service-learning classes. Retrieved December 19, 2006, from http://www.sa.utah.edu/bennion/pdf/9CRIT.pdf